Monday, November 15, 2010 Rare Form

The first time I tried Spanakopita I was visiting my girlfriends for a weekend getaway in Chicago. Since they all have experience with big city living in one state or another, and I have none at all, they love exposing me to the best that city life has to offer.

(To be honest, I think they just get a kick out of my wide-eyed state of constant amazement: "You mean there's a train in the middle of the city? Stores that just sell...gourmet popcorn only? An H & M Clothing store right downtown?" Oh Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore.).

But I digress. The real juice in this story is in the Spanikopita I had at an incredible little Greek restaurant in Chicago. Could you eat a piece of heaven with a fork? Could your head melt with pure food satisfaction? Could you fly me to Greece so I could eat Spanakopita for dinner every day?

When I stumbled upon Ina Garten's recipe for Dinner Spanakopitas in my new Back to Basics cookbook, I knew I had to give them a try. But not without plenty of changes, of course.

Ina's recipe calls for puff pastry--obviously a delicious, buttery, flaky option that would yield delightful Spanikopita results. However, I decided to go with a healthier and more economical option by using up a leftover package of soy eggroll wrappers I had in the fridge.

The creative results? Spanikopita Egg Rolls (to be fair, it's not really an egg roll. More like Spanakopita filling baked into eggroll wrappers). I imagine these would be adorable even smaller, wrapped in wonton wrappers.

These guys sure hit the spot--with feta, spinach, and pine nuts as the base, I got all the spinach-feta fill I needed, minus the heavy load of pastry.

Are you a big-city person, or small-town gal?

Spanakopita Egg Rolls
(Ina Garten inspired this Hungry Spoon creation)

This is a dish in disguise: On the outside--egg roll. On the inside--a little bite of Greek heaven.

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a little olive oil
  • 6 egg roll wrappers
  • 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (approximately--just eyeball it!)
  • 5 oz. package of reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 3 TBSP toasted pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2) In a small skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened and lightly browned (about 4 - 5 minutes).

3) Combine all ingredients (except the egg roll wrappers!) in a large bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.

4) Spoon about 1/3 cup of spinach mixture into the center of an egg roll wrapper. Fold up on each short side, then roll the wrapper up (like a burrito). Place seam side down on baking sheet, and repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Lightly spray the wrappers with cooking spray.

5) Bake for 15 minutes. Flip egg rolls over (the bottoms should be lightly browned) and return to the oven to bake on the opposite side for 3 minutes.

6) Enjoy! These babies are good enough to eat plain, but a dash of marinara sauce for dipping might be fun, too.


  1. Ooh, do you remember the name of that Greek restaurant? I stayed in Greektown last time I was in Chicago.

  2. Mmm, I love spanakopita. I used to hate spinach and this was the dish that showed me that if cooked well, spinach can be amazeballs.

  3. I'm a mid-sized city girl.

    But I'm fairly certain that we all just need to immigrate to Greece. Of all of the possible solutions or answers at this point, that one seems the most logical.

  4. randomly came across your blog and it's so entertaining!

    I love all of those foods! My family is greek so we eat those alot...I have never heard of the egg rolls, must try!!

    I am a big city girl!!! If I had the chance I'd move to NYC in a heartbeat!

  5. Man oh man oh man. I'm half greek so I grew up these flavors but in an EGG roll? Wow! I can't wait to try. could be great in rice paper wraps too.
    I am definitely a suburb girl, haha. I don't like the constant bustle of the city (where I live now) but I like to be close to it for some of the cultural aspects.

  6. these look great! i love the flavors. :) great idea!

  7. oh my..this looks so yummy.. i am getting very hungry just looking at this. thanks for sharing this.

  8. Great twist using the wrappers. I haven't seen soy egg roll wrappers before but I use egg roll and wonton wrappers for almost any leftovers. Super job.

    Plan B

  9. These look great! I've never made egg rolls!

  10. I love spanakopita, I rarely eat spinach without cheese, I think are just meant to be together hihihi
    Love your personal touch to the recipe

  11. GREAT recipe! I need to make this! I just emailed it to myself! We need to live closer so we can get together!

  12. All I needed to hear was feta, pine nuts and had me sold! I've never tried making spanakopitain before (and I don't think I've even tried it!) But it both looks and sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing. I hope the rest of your week is beautiful!

  13. I think I've only tried spanakopita once, and it was made with goat feta, so I didn't like it (not a goat cheese fan!). Since then I've discovered cow feta and love it, so I need to give these a try! The egg roll wrappers are brilliant. Definitely easier on the waist and the wallet!